Friday, November 30, 2012

*#%* my two (almost 3!) year old says...

After our usual ridiculous routine of getting out of the house in the morning (Henry crying in car seat, Charlie barking at Andrew, Andrew "powing" Charlie) I manage to get us out of the door, while keeping the dog in. Walking to the van we are admiring all of the new snow on the ground and Andrew says "Uh Mommy, can I have some shoes on please?"... Woops! At lease he was polite about it!

Here are a couple videos of Andrew singing along with his birthday cards!

video


video



Thursday, November 29, 2012

A pirate party!!!

This past weekend we celebrated Andrew's 3rd birthday! We always plan for this party in late November because we just can't bring ourselves to try it on his actual birthday... 5 days after Christmas. So far this plan has successfully avoided subjecting the poor little man to birthday/Christmas presents! I absolutely love planning birthday parties.  They combine some of my favourite things: baking, crafts, decorating and overall creativity.  This year was especially exciting because Andrew actually understood what was happening and was really into it!

The theme of the day was pirates, which lent itself very well to decorations, costumes and games. The house was festively decked out in red and black, a birthday banner, mop buckets, and pirate ship sail added some nice touches!




Upon arrival, all of our party guests were greeted with a bandanna and eye patch, and the kiddies even got a pirate sword (post Halloween special at the dollar store).


Andrew's "scary pirate face"
The kids had fun playing a few games... 

Go Fish - use your hands to find the goldfish crackers in a paper bag filled with yummy snacks (popcorn, teddy grahams, raisins, Cheerios)

Swab the Deck - be the first to mop all of your team's balloons to your side of the deck

Who Wants to be Andrew's Best Friend - try and guess how Andrew answered each question (My techy husband created this game on his computer so that after each question was answered a video of Andrew answering the question played!)

 (Andrew and Attie ate their way through)
We enjoyed some yummy pirate treats...




And to take away... a little pirate treasure!

I sewed simple drawstring bags from the same fabric as the bandannas and table runner.
A treat for the adults... banana chip muffins

It was an amazing day! We were so happy to have Andrew's friends and family here to celebrate with us! It's hard to believe he is already three! He amazes us everyday with his witty sense of humour and insatiable curiosity! Can't wait to see what this next year will bring!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

An advent calendar & a free printable...


As a kid, I absolutely loved the excitement of an advent calendar. There was nothing better than the novelty of a chocolate with breakfast! It seems that the whole idea of an advent calendar has really taken on a life of it's own. Time intensive crafting, elaborate packaging and costly gifts seem to be the norm these days (a big jump from the $1.99 chocolate calendar I am accustomed to!).  Although I love the idea of a DIY advent calendar, I don't think I am ready to commit to a small gift everyday for the kiddos but I do love the idea of a handmade advent calendar! After searching blog land, this is what I came up with!


Using a simple graphic program on my computer I designed 24 number circles that would cover the cups of a mini muffin tin. I printed these off on printable magnetic paper and cut out each circle. 




I picked up some of Andrew's favourite treats in the bulk section at the grocery store, placed them in the tin, covered each cup and was finished!


I propped the calendar on a plate stand and set it up in our kitchen. Andrew has no idea what it's for yet, but I know he will be pretty excited to learn about this holiday tradition!


Here is a PDF version of the circles, print one off for yourself!! (printable advent calendar)



The DIY Dreamer
The DIY Dreamer

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

...A new obsession


While reading one of my favourite blogs, Iheart Organizing, I discovered a new product... Washi Tape. Intrigued by this pretty new find, I did some research, and within an hour had purchased 25 rolls on Etsy! To fill the long days while I awaited the arrival of my new collection (I've always loved a good collection) I pinned away on a new Pinterest board (I Love Washi Tape), bought a pretty glass bowl at the dollar store, and dragged my boys back and forth to the mailbox (no small feat)! Nine whole days later, the little gems arrived!




Aren't they pretty!! I am now viewing everything in my home as a possible Washi tape project. Am I the only one who is new to the wonderful world of Washi??


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Henry is three months old!!


It's hard to believe that three months have already past since Henry joined our little family. I feel like we have successfully emerged from that newborn haze, due a little more sleep at night and some more predictability during the day. 

Henry continues to pack on the pounds, weighing in at a chubby 
14 lbs... just look at those yummy thighs!

Henry really has turned that corner, from a sleepy little bundle, to a playful baby boy! His big brother has really taken notice of this difference and is beginning to have a lot of fun playing with his new best friend.

Time for your check up!


... and a quick laparotomy!


Henry's third month also included his first Halloween.  He looked good enough to eat!


I cannot get over the giggles that come out of this little bug! Here are a few I caught on my phone to email to Nana and Auntie.

video

I have a feeling the fun is just beginning!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Kids shelving...


When researching ideas for Andrew's "big big room" I came across the clever idea of using outdoor flower boxes for shelving. I knew this would be an excellent way to a) fill some wall space,    
b) contain/display a few stuffed animals, and c) keep a few delicate items out of reach!  I was surprised how difficult it was to find these items, but ended up having luck snagging a few at Homesense for only $12.99.


I used drywall plugs to hang the shelves, but was not able to utilize the walls studs. Even so, they are incredibly sturdy and I have no concerns with piling them high with more books!


Andrew is just now getting to the age where he enjoys longer stories. However, I don't exactly trust him to not rip the pages. So for now these will be kept out of reach for supervised story times. All of his favourite board books are organized into baskets in the unit below these shelves.


Since these baskets are meant for outdoor use, they are a little rough. I had originally planned to keep them lower to the ground so that Andrew could take out his animals, but I was worried he might get scratched. I like the rustic look of the wrought iron but it would also be easy to spray paint these shelves if you wanted a lighter look. All in all, this was a quick and inexpensive way to add more storage and fill a large wall in the little man's room!


Linking Up


Monday, November 5, 2012

Leftover Halloween candy...

If your house is anything like mine, you have a whole lot of excess Halloween candy. There is no way we can let Andrew eat all of this junk, and if I don't do something about it soon, I will keep picking away at it for weeks to come! I have read about organizations that allow you to donate your candy, but we don't really have that much. There are also "buy back" programs at dental offices, but our little monkey is still a bit young for that concept! Here are a few of the ways I have decided to put these treats to good use:

1. Baking - If you like Rice Krispie squares, you will love the Mars Bar version! I think I will need about 15 of the treat size bars to make the recipe, but I may need a few more. Here's how to make them:

Melt together 15 treat size Mars bars, along with 1/2 a cup of butter. 
Once smooth, stir in 2 cups of Rice Krispies. Press into an 8 x 8 bake pan and top with 1/4 cup of chocolate chips (or crumbled chocolate bars). 
Warm under the broiler until the chocolate chips melt. 
Cool and enjoy!



2. Loot Bags - we didn't have the number of trick or treaters that we were anticipating this year (must have been the rain). With Andrew's birthday party coming up, I decided to set this candy aside to use for the kids loot bags. I would normally go out and purchase something similar anyway, and now I can check this off my to do list!

3. Potty Motivation - There is a lot of "potty talk" happening in the Leeper house these days. Andrew is almost three and is just starting to show some signs of interest. As a teacher I am well aware of the danger of using extrinsic rewards to motivate children. However, I also know that sometimes it is these little incentives that get the ball rolling... so in our house, a #1 earns you a Jelly Bean, and a #2 a treat from the candy jar (perhaps a little too much information??). I'm really hoping this gets Andrew excited, two kids in diapers is getting expensive!